Real Talk: Do you think selfies are narcissistic?
Earlier today, I posted a photo asking the question "Do you think selfies are narcissistic?" which enticed a lot of conversation online. According to the Oxford Dictionary, to exhibit narcissism means "excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance"; also synonymous to self-loving, self-admiring, and vanity. By this definition, one could thereby argue that taking selfies as a form of self-love is indeed narcissistic. When you think of narcissism, however, you mostly elicit negative reactions. But narcissism is a continuum, on the low end of the spectrum, narcissism can manifest itself in simple self-confidence. On the high end, it gives people the audacity to think they're better than others and look down on people.
We all take selfies - whether as a way to show off a new outfit, showcase an interesting location, or just a plain old solo selfie. The reason we take it are different from person to person. One positive effect of selfies is the promotion of self-love. In fact, according to a survey by TODAY/AOL, 41% of adult women believe selfies and flattering photos of themselves make them "feel more confident". However, on the same survey, it also found that 46% believe that selfies of other people on social media make them feel more self-conscious about their appearance. The more women are exposed to "selfies" and other photos on social media, the more they compare themselves negatively.
Self-love can be done in many ways. To me, self-love is reading a good book, doing yoga, watching a new show on Netflix, and every now and then sharing random musings like this online. I love social media - I think it's a great way of getting connected, inspiring others, and seeing the world through someone else's eyes. My Instagram feed is very carefully curated - from photos of my favourites spots, delicious food, to snaps of my jack russell looking adorable. Because of this desire to maintain a specific look, every now and then I delete posts that don't work well with the feed which is ironic since I started sincerely studio as an avenue to talk about the things I'm passionate about in an "authentic way".
At the end of the day, what we see online is a matter of perspective. Most often people only show the best part of themselves. Yes, you do occasionally get the nonsensical "BRB, going to sleep" update, but oftentimes, social media elicit envy because you see people living the lives you think you want to live. What I'm trying to say is, take what you see with a grain of salt. It's good to aspire to be a better YOU but do so without comparison, and if you want to take a photo of yourself because it makes you feel confident with how you look, so be it.